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Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 2021

Italian media praise Verstappen for shouldering his way past Hamilton

Max Verstappen and Italy didn't work well together in 2020, but things have changed in 2021. The Dutchman won at Imola on Sunday, with the Italian media making it clear Lewis Hamilton won't have an easy ride this season.

Article
To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

Max Verstappen's victory at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix has the Italian media thinking Lewis Hamilton is well and truly in for a fight this season, with the Dutchman's first lap pass singled out for praise.

Both La Gazzetta dello Sport and Corriere dello Sport started by referring to a video that appeared on social media that saw Verstappen run into Hamilton with his shoulder.

"Max Verstappen's shoulder push," wrote both papers, which also refers to Max's aggressive pass on lap 1 that saw the two drivers touch.

It was Verstappen's day that was perfect, but in the end Hamilton remains atop the championship thanks to his second place finish and fastest lap. However, the mistake made by the Brit shows he is human after all.

"Hamilton isn't as supreme as in previous years," Gazzetta wrote. "If Hamilton wins his eighth title, he will have to sweat for it. The defeat in Bahrain was clearly an open wound for Verstappen, as there was still a lot of anger in him because of the 'punishment' received in Bahrain. The Dutchman clearly got his teeth into a victory at Imola."

Verstappen only needed two turns to go from third to first at the start of the race, even touching Hamilton at one point. The Italian outlet believes F1 fans can settle in for a fascinating battle in 2021.

"The duel between the two could be like the duel between Ayron Senna and Alain Prost, and Michael Schumacher versus Mika Hakkinen," Gazzetta continued. "Fans are already dreaming of that battle!"

As for the Corriere dello Sport, the outlet noted that Hamilton's chances were boosted when Valtteri Bottas crashed out - which ultimately hurt Charles Leclerc as well.

"Verstappen, Lando Norris and Leclerc should have been on the podium," wrote the Corriere. "A weird and glaring error by Hamilton should have led to that.

"However, the crash between Bottas and George Russell helped Hamilton back into the saddle. Verstappen will clearly make it difficult for Hamilton to pass Schumacher's record number of titles and that is good for the sport. Hamilton finally has to sweat again after years of loneliness at the front."

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

The latest news about the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix straight from the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

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